Tragic Ending For One in a Million Boxing Talent
Update: Edwin Valero was found dead early this morning after apparently hanging himself in prison.
Former WBC lightweight champion Edwin Valero has reportedly admitted to killing his 20 year old wife, Jennifer Viera in a hotel in Venezuela. The couple have two young children.While he has not been officially charged, eye witnesses have stated that Valero confessed to killing his wife to hotel staff, then voluntarily turned himself in.
Valero had a long history of drug and alcohol related problems that seemed to have spiraled out of control, even as his professional life seemed to be taking off. Valero was in trouble last year for allegedly hitting his mother and his sister, and had been arrested for beating his wife. The South American was regarded by hardcore fans as one of the most dangerous and underrated fighters in the sport, and deemed so good that many believe he had the ability to beat the current pound for pound champ Manny Pacquiao.
Valero was notorious for getting himself kicked out of training camps for beating up the star he was supposed to help out (he was apparently let go when helping DeLaHoya out for his bout with Pacquiao), and many excellent fighters simply would not get in the ring with him for fear of his concussive striking. I remember visiting a gym in Los Angeles and speaking with a few fighters who were in awe of his punching power and told me they would never entertain the idea of trading blows with him, even with head gear and oversized gloves.
To get an idea of just how good Valero was, take in to consideration the fact that he won his first 18 fights by first round knockout, then showed absolutely no problems doing 10 rounds when faced with a much tougher opponent (whom he also knocked out). Valero never really had a trainer and liked to do things his own way, and with a record of 27 wins and 27 knockouts, it seemed to be going pretty well. While he wasn’t the most polished of operators, his unnatural strength, toughness and raw instinct for fighting made him a force to be reckoned with.
While it is certainly a shame that if found guilty, the boxing world will have lost an extraordinary talent, nothing can compare to the tragic loss of such a young life and the young children who will now grow up without either parent.